Nelson/Tasman and West Coast regions

Walkers on the Heaphy Track.

Walkers on the Heaphy Track

Nelson/Tasman and West Coast regions map.

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About the Heaphy Track

Pass through diverse landscapes from beautiful beech forest to expansive tussock grasslands, to lush forests, nikau palms and roaring seas.

The Heaphy Track is the longest of the 9 Great Walks at 78.4 km. It takes 4 - 6 days to walk. It is also possible to mountain bike the track between 1 May and 30 September. It takes 2 - 3 days to ride.

The track is well formed and well marked, and all rivers and major streams are bridged. It is suitable for trampers of moderate fitness and limited experience.

Located in the Kahurangi National Park at the north-west corner of the South Island, the nearest towns that cater for trampers and mountain bikers are Nelson, Takaka, Westport and Karamea.

View the Heaphy Track brochure (PDF, 3,260K).

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Alert/Important notice

 Pest control operation /Loose vegetation / wave surges

Pest control operation DOC will carry out an aerial 1080 operation in approximately 270,000 ha of Kahurangi National Park to control rats, possums and other predators as part of its Battle for our Birds programme.

Non toxic pre feed baits will be applied first followed, approximately 5 days later (weather permitting), by the toxic baits. The area is divided into 5 separate operational blocks and each may be treated at different times.

Most tracks within the operational block to be treated will be temporarily closed until baits have been removed from the track. Major tracks include the eastern portion of the Heaphy Track and Wangapeka Track. The Cobb Road and Wangapeka River Road will be closed until baits have been removed during the Cobb and Wangapeka block operations respectively. The Oparara Basin Access Road will be closed during the Oparara block operations.

This operation is scheduled to start at the first weather opportunity after 1 September 2014. Get

View more information or contact the Motueka Office tel +64 3 528 18), Takaka Office tel +64 3 525 8026), or Westport Office tel +64 3 788 8008).

Following the Easter 2014 storm, track users need to be aware of loose vegetation hung up in canopy branches and allow for minor debris on some sections of the track, particularly between Brown Hut and Perry Saddle and between MacKay Hut and Lewis Hut.

Wave Surges: Between Kohaihai and Heaphy Hut: Sections of the coastal track may be affected by large wave surges during high tides and rough seas and may cause the track to be temporarily impassable - there is no alternative track available. The sections affected are clearly signposted. 

Track users must make their own safety assessment and be prepared to wait for up to 2 hours until the tide retreats. When planning your trip, ensure you check tide charts and allow adequate time in case of delays.

Rubbish: There are no rubbish facilities on the track. Trampers are reminded there is a pack-in pack-out policy for all rubbish. All rubbish must be removed.

Great Walk/Easier tramping track Great Walk/Easier tramping track

Mountain biking - AdvancedAdvanced

Mountain biking - ExpertExpert


4 - 6 days (walking); 2 - 3 days (mountain biking)


78.4 km

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Parkmaps are detailed maps for those visiting and using New Zealand's national parks and other conservation land. They are available from DOC visitor centres.

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Check, Clean, Dry between waterways and stop the spread of didymo.

Walking track categories


Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for Nelson/Tasman places